Newsweek began 2015 with a cover story on the Bible. In the lead article, we get a heavy dose of liberal theory and secular skepticism about the Bible. But the author is correct in arguing that very few Americans are biblically literate. Many Christian ministries have documented this through various surveys as well as lots of anecdotal stories.
Two writers with The Federalist decided to follow the lead of Newsweek and write about “The Eight Biggest Myths About the Bible.” Here are just a few of the cultural myths so many have accepted.
Many people believe the Bible teaches: “money is the root of all evil.” That is not what Paul taught (in 1 Timothy 6:10) which says: “For the love of money is a root all kinds of evil.” The Bible does not condemn money or wealth, but does admonish us to be generous and not to make money an idol.
Another myth is the pervasive belief that Christians are never to make moral judgments. One of the most quoted verses these days is Matthew 7:1. Jesus says, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” He is not telling us not to make moral judgments. In the following verses, he explains that we are not to be hypocritical. We may only see the speck in another person’s eye and not notice the log in our own eye.
One of the current myths being spread by many atheists is that the Bible condones slavery. This is hard to accept if you just look at history. Most abolitionists in this country or Great Britain were Bible-believing Christians. Paul Copan has chapters in many of his books addressing the misunderstanding of the concept of debt-servanthood or indentured servitude that is nothing like slavery. He also addresses another one of the myths listed: that the God of the Old Testament is an Angry Tribal Deity.
Newsweek is correct that much of America is biblically illiterate. And the writers in The Federalist are right that many have accepted these cultural myths about the Bible. That is why we need to study God’s Word and take the time to read some good books that destroy these myths.
January 23, 2015